Enforcement officers from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries combined on Friday, Aug. 9, in a joint exercise to enforce fishing and boating safely laws in inland, joint and coastal waters on the western side of Pamlico Sound, doing 94 inspections and writing 18 citations.
Six officers from each agency were paired on Commission boats, with the Marine Patrol’s airplane aloft, checking recreational fishermen for licenses and limits, checking boats for safety equipment and checking commercial fishermen and gear for possible violations.
The operation was headquartered at the refurbished Blounts Creek Boating Access Facility in BeaufortCounty near Washington.
Commission officers inspected 75 recreational boats, issuing five boating citations, making four night-boating arrests and detaining one boater for OWI, the boating equivalent of DWI.
Marine Patrol officers inspected four shrimp trawls, two commercial flounder-gigging boats, seven drop-netters, two recreational boaters and four recreational flounder-giggers, plus 2,000 yhards of gill nets and a handful of crab pots. They issued one citation for recreational commercial gear, five CFRL citations, one crab pot citation and one night-boating citation.
Boaters and fishermen should expect to see more of these joint patrols thanks to mandates in recent legislation that expands the authority of officers from both agencies and authorizes them to avoid duplication of enforcement activities.
For more information on the legislation (SL 2013-360) visit www.ncleg.net. For more information on the Marine Patrol visit www.ncdmf.net and for Wildlife Resources Commission Enforcement visit www.ncwildlife.org.